Switch hosting for a ProPhoto site

How can I work on my new ProPhoto site on a new host while keeping my current site live and then seamlessly transfer my domain name to my new site when it is ready?

Many people who are interested in using ProPhoto already have some kind of pre-existing website. In general, these folks fall into two camps.

  • Those who already have a site hosted by a WordPress compatible host who they want to use for their ProPhoto site, as well.
  • Those who are unsatisfied with their current host or who want to switch to using just ProPhoto but whose current host is incompatible with WordPress

This tutorial address that second group – people who have a site, want to use ProPhoto on a new host with the same domain name, and want to keep their old site live until the new ProPhoto site is ready.  Whether your current site is a free blog, a custom flash site,  a proofing site or even another WordPress site, the process for switching to ProPhoto and good WordPress compatible hosting is basically the same.

Step 1: Choose a host

You’ll want to choose a host that provides a “temporary url“.  This is a url that points to your server, and gives you a way to edit and view your new WordPress site before you connect your domain name.

Among hosts, the process for connecting WordPress to a temp url can vary greatly. Often, it involves manually editing your database, which most people find tricky (or scary!).  Fortunately, our recommended host, Bluehost, makes it a very smooth process.

Still want to use a different host?  That’s fine.  You’ll just want to contact them directly to see if you can get setup with WordPress at a temp url. Hosts that offer cPanel type control panels tend to work best.

Step 2: Install WordPress and ProPhoto at your temporary url

Are you concerned that getting your WordPress & ProPhoto site set up properly may be difficult, or do you have special circumstances? Consider purchasing our professional help getting things configured for your needs, and eliminate the hassle. Expert Install available on our purchase page here.

What does my temporary url look like?

Bluehost automatically assigns a temporary url according to this structure, http://IP_address/~username.  So a sample temp url would look like this –  http://69.81.33.228/~fotomani.  The username is what you use to sign in to Bluehost and the IP address is the “shared IP address” found in the “stats” sidebar on the left of your cPanel. If you enter your temp url in your browser, you should see a blank Bluehost-styled page.

Install WordPress and ProPhoto

When using Bluehost’s automatic WordPress installer, you will choose your temp url as your installation location.

Step 3: Customize your site

Now that WordPress is ready to operate at the temporary address, you can begin working on your site content and custom ProPhoto design. Use the videos and help on our site and within the ProPhoto interface to create something great.

If you intend to have a website + blog setup instead of just blog posts on your new setup, be sure to check out our tips for using ProPhoto as an “all in one” solution.

If you have another blog you would like to import, be sure to check out this guide.

Step 4: Launch your new site

So there you go! You just switched from your old website on an incompatible webhost to a ProPhoto blog without downtime and little hassle!


How can I work on my new ProPhoto site on a new host while keeping my current site live and then seamlessly transfer my domain name to my new site when it is ready?

Many people who are interested in using ProPhoto already have some kind of pre-existing website. In general, these folks fall into two camps.

  1. Those who already have a site hosted by a WordPress compatible host who they want to use for their ProPhoto site, as well.
  1. Those who are unsatisfied with their current host or who want to switch to using just ProPhoto but whose current host is incompatible with WordPress

This tutorial address that second group – people who have a site, want to use ProPhoto on a new host with the same domain name, and want to keep their old site live until the new ProPhoto site is ready.  Whether your current site is a free blog, a custom flash site,  a proofing site or even another WordPress site, the process for switching to ProPhoto and good WordPress compatible hosting is basically the same.

Step 1: Choose a host

You’ll want to choose a host that provides a “temporary url“.  This is a url that points to your server, and gives you a way to edit and view your new WordPress site before you connect your domain name.

Among hosts, the process for connecting WordPress to a temp url can vary greatly. Often, it involves manually editing your database, which most people find tricky (or scary!).  Fortunately, our recommended host, Bluehost, makes it a very smooth process.

Still want to use a different host?  That’s fine.  You’ll just want to contact them directly to see if you can get setup with WordPress at a temp url.

Step 2: Install WordPress and ProPhoto at your temporary url

Are you concerned that getting your WordPress & ProPhoto site set up properly may be difficult, or do you have special circumstances? Consider purchasing our professional help getting things configured for your needs, and eliminate the hassle. Expert Install available on our purchase page here.

What does my temporary url look like?

Bluehost automatically assigns a temporary url according to this structure, http://IP_address/~username.  So a sample temp url would look like this –  http://69.81.33.228/~fotomani.  The username is what you use to sign in to Bluehost and the IP address is the “shared IP address” found in the “stats” sidebar on the left of your cPanel. If you enter your temp url in your browser, you should see a blank Bluehost-styled page.

Install WordPress and ProPhoto

When using Bluehost’s automatic WordPress installer, you will choose your temp url as your installation location.

Step 3: Customize your site

Now that WordPress is ready to operate at the temporary address, you can begin working on your site content and custom ProPhoto design. Use the videos and help on our site and within the ProPhoto interface to create something great.

If you intend to have a website + blog setup instead of just blog posts on your new setup, be sure to check out our tips for using ProPhoto as an “all in one” solution.

If you have another blog you would like to import, be sure to check out this guide.

Step 4: Launch your new site

So there you go! You just switched from your old website on an incompatible webhost to a ProPhoto blog without downtime and little hassle!

How can I work on my new ProPhoto site on a new host while keeping my current site live and then seamlessly transfer my domain name to my new site when it is ready?

Many people who are interested in using ProPhoto already have some kind of pre-existing website. In general, these folks fall into two camps.

  1. Those who already have a site hosted by a WordPress compatible host who they want to use for their ProPhoto site, as well.
  1. Those who are unsatisfied with their current host or who want to switch to using just ProPhoto but whose current host is incompatible with WordPress

This tutorial address that second group – people who have a site, want to use ProPhoto on a new host with the same domain name, and want to keep their old site live until the new ProPhoto site is ready.  Whether your current site is a free blog, a custom flash site,  a proofing site or even another WordPress site, the process for switching to ProPhoto and good WordPress compatible hosting is basically the same.

Step 1: Choose a host

Since you won’t be directing your domain name to your new hosting until your new site is looking how you want, you’ll want to choose a host that provides a “temporary url“.  This is a url that points to your server, and gives you a way to edit and view your new WordPress site before you connect your domain name.

Many hosts offer a temporary url, but the process for connecting WordPress to that temp url can vary greatly. Often, it involves editing a certain table in your database after you install WordPress, which most people find tricky (or scary!).  Fortunately, our recommended host, Bluehost, makes it a very smooth process.

We recommend Bluehost because of their great price, responsive customer support, unlimited hosting space, and excellent WordPress features.  This ability to easily install at a temp url is just one of those features.  Plus, if you use the link on our site to sign up with them, you can get a $30 rebate after installing and registering our ProPhoto software.

Now, if you have your heart set on using a different host, that’s fine.  There probably is a way to connect a WordPress installation to a temporary url.  You’ll just want to contact them directly for help in getting WordPress  set up correctly.

Step 2: Install WordPress and ProPhoto at your temporary url

Are you concerned that getting your WordPress & ProPhoto site set up properly may be difficult, or do you have special circumstances? Consider purchasing our professional help getting things configured for your needs, and eliminate the hassle. Expert Install available on our purchase page here.

What does my temporary url look like?

Bluehost automatically assigns a temporary url according to this structure, http://IP_address/~username.  So a sample temp url would look like this –  http://69.81.33.228/~fotomani.  The username is what you use to sign in to Bluehost and the IP address is the “shared IP address” found in the “stats” sidebar on the left of your cPanel. If you enter your temp url in your browser, you should see a blank Bluehost styled page.

Install WordPress and ProPhoto

The process for installing WordPress and ProPhoto at a temp url is exactly the same as we demonstrate in our install tutorial.  The only difference is that your temp url is the WordPress installation address you will choose when installing.

Step 3: Customize your site

Now that WordPress is ready to operate at the temporary address, you can begin working on your site content and custom ProPhoto design. Use the videos and help on our site and within the ProPhoto interface to create something great.

If you intend to have a website + blog setup instead of just blog posts on your new setup, be sure to check out our tips for using ProPhoto as an “all in one” solution.

If you have another blog you would like to import, be sure to check out this guide.

Step 4: Launch your new site

It is time. Your site is ready. You’ve got a customized site with the look & layout you want, and all the content you need to show it off to the world. But your site is visible at a domain name that no one is likely to remember:  http://IP_address/~username.  Fix this by transferring or pointing your custom domain name to your BlueHost service so your new WordPress site will be seen instead of your old site.

After completing the steps below, your old site will not be accessible from your domain name, so be sure you’ve transferred or recreated anything you need before proceeding, or visitors to your address will not be able to find what they’re looking for!

Reconfigure ‘nameservers’ or Transfer your domain

We recommend you ask BlueHost tech support to help you with this, because a mistake can mean that your address does not load anything correctly, and fixing the process may take a day or more to correct. However, you can try this yourself – they have an excellent guide.

You have two options: point your domain name to your BlueHost service to keep your domain name with your current registrar, or transfer your domain to BlueHost so all of your services are managed by them. (transferring may save you money, as BlueHost should include a free domain name for the first year with your hosting service)

NOTE: your domain name and your hosting service are two completely different services you pay for – while it’s possible that your domain and hosting may be held with the same company, it’s also possible to have these services handled by separate companies

If you were using a custom domain name at a free blogging site like WordPress.com or Blogger, then the domain name transfer process is not as straight forward. Fortunately, WordPress.com does have a tutorial.  For help transferring a Blogger domain, see this forum post.

Reconfigure WordPress URL address

Now here’s the cool part: once your domain name ‘http://mysite.com’ is transferred/pointed to BlueHost servers, your WordPress site will successfully load the front page from your address ‘http://mysite.com’

The only thing you’ll need to do is login to your WordPress Dashboard and go to “Settings” > “General” (that’s from the main, left-hand WordPress sidebar menu) and change your WordPress URL and your Site URL from your temporary domain name over to your actual address ‘http://mysite.com’.  It’s that easy!

Change Nameservers From Temp url

The only downtime you will experience will be during the “re-pointing” of your domain name – which happens quickly and is unlikely to be noticed by visitors. This process may take 24-48 hours before it happens, but your old site will still be displayed until the switch takes place.  When it does, it will be almost instantaneous.

So there you go! You just switched from your old website on an incompatible webhost to a ProPhoto blog without downtime and little hassle!

If you’ve searched the tutorials and can't find what you need, please contact us. We’re here to help. Contact Us